Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

The Fight for the Right to Rescue Starts Now

From Wayne Hsiung, The Simple Heart
February 2023

From Utah to New York, industry forces are targeting sick and injured animals -- and those who give them aid.

rescued Hen
A hen rescued in 2004 by Adam Durand’s organization, Compassionate Consumers.

Nearly 20 years ago, Adam Durand was convicted and given a near-maximum sentence (6 months) for openly rescuing animals from an egg factory farm in upstate New York. The conviction and sentence were a shock. Experienced criminal defense lawyers advised Adam that there was no chance he would be charged and convicted; after all, he was exposing the abuses of a corporate giant, Wegmans, that would surely be too ashamed to pursue charges. The birds Adam rescued, moreover, were grotesquely twisted into cage wire; partially buried in filth and feces; and on the brink of death. Even if convicted, sentencing a first-time offender with severe punishment was (and is) unheard of, especially for a crime that caused no financial harm to the “victim.”

Yet that is exactly what happened: Adam received a six-month sentence for taking dying birds to the vet.

The statement to the animal rights movement was clear: Cross us, and we will go after you. Not with our own lawyers, but with the power of the American government, which so often is controlled by the same corporate titans who abuse animals in factory farms.

“Just as we brutalize the animals, we will brutalize you,” the industry was saying. “Beware.”

And, sadly, the movement heard that warning loud and clear. The prosecution of Adam Durand, along with the convictions of other nonviolent animal rights advocates from the same era, placed a chill on the grassroots movement for animal rights. Journalist Will Potter called it the Green Scare — akin to the Red Scare which terrorized Americans in the 1950s with criminal persecution — and the result was that a powerful grassroots movement that had been growing since the early 2000s was stopped in its tracks.

Today, as I write this blog, the animal rights movement is facing an eerily similar situation. Activists across the globe are being charged and prosecuted, and sometimes convicted, for merely giving aid to sick and dying animals.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: The Fight for the Right to Rescue Starts Now.

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